The motto at McQueen this season is “All In.”
Football coach Jim Snelling explained it this way, “We’re expecting 100 percent from 100 percent of the guys, 100 percent of the time.”
The Lancers lost to Galena in the first round of the playoffs last season, ending their season with a 5-5 record.
Snelling said the Lancers were inconsistent last season.
“We showed some flashes of brilliance, then sometimes we weren’t consistent enough,” he said. “We’ve got to do a better job defensively than what we did last year.”
He said offenses have become so spread out, and individuals are often isolated, so that it is more difficult to gang tackle.
Going .500 did not sit well with the players.
“We know we can improve on that. This team has worked, we pushed really hard over the summer, now we’re just looking to get it done. This team is looking really good right now,” center Jordan Hoover said.
Hoover (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) is expected to anchor the Lancers’ offensive line.
He’ll help protect the Lancers dual quarterbacks, Joey Cox (6-3, 195) and Zach Ball (5-11, 145). Cox took over at quarterback in week 3 last season, then suffered a concussion against Reed in week 8.
Each brings a unique set of skills, which Snelling plans to utilize to keep defenses off balance.
“Cox is a drop back guy, very, very cerebral. He knows system very well,” Snelling said. “Zach Ball is a little fleeter of foot, more dangerous to tuck the ball and zone read it with us. It’s a good problem to have.”
Snelling plans to get both Ball and Cox in games, regardless of where they might play.
“It depends on the situation, both are such good athletes,” Snelling said. “We’ve got to find a way to get both of them on the field.”
Snelling said the Lancers have more seniors than they had last season, but not as much experience.
John York (5-10, 175) was one of the Lancers’ leading rushers and he returns to run the ball and play outside linebacker.
He said that playoff loss still lingers in the returning players’ minds.
“We’ve had that in the back of our head since the end of the season. It left a bad taste,” York said. We’ve been working hard since the Christmas break.’
He said the Lancers are confident they can go deeper in the playoffs this year.
“A lot of kids got a lot of good playing time last year,” York said.
Snelling expects another tight league race this season, with several teams capable of contending for the title.
“There’s great parity within the league. Every game is going to be a championship-type atmosphere. There’s great teams on both sides” Snelling said. “The teams that are healthy at the end are going to be the ones that have success. We’re hoping we can stay away from the injury bug.
McQueen Football Schedule
Sept. 2 at Bishop Manogue 7 p.m.
Sep 16 at Carson 7 p.m.
Sep 23 vs. Damonte Ranch 7 p.m.
Sep 30 vs. Spanish Springs 7 p.m.
Oct 7 at Hug 7 pm.
Oct 14 at Reed 7 p.m.
Oct 21 vs. North Valleys 7 p.m.
Oct 27 vs. Reno 7 p.m.
Coach: Jim Snelling, 8th season
Last season: 5-5